New Mexico Enters Preseason Coaches' Poll At No. 20
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2013-14 USA Today Coaches’ preseason poll was announced today, and Mountain West preseason favorite New Mexico enters the rankings at No. 20.
This marks the second straight year at least one Mountain West team has appeared in the USA Today Coaches’ preseason poll. UNLV and San Diego State entered the 2012-13 campaign ranked No. 19 and 20, respectively.
New Mexico amassed a 29-6 record overall and a 13-3 mark in Mountain West action last season en route to capturing its fourth MW regular-season title and third MW tournament crown. The Lobos claimed the league’s automatic bid, earning their second straight NCAA tournament appearance and sixth consecutive postseason berth overall. Four starters return among six letterwinners for first-year head coach Craig Neal, led by 2012-13 MW Player of the Year Kendall Williams (Sr., G) and fellow All-MW performer Alex Kirk (Jr., C).
Boise State received 11 votes in the poll. The Broncos return all five starters among nine letterwinners from a 2012-13 squad that compiled a 21-11 overall record and tied for fourth place in MW action with a 9-7 mark. The Broncos advanced to the postseason for the fourth time in six years, earning the program’s first NCAA at-large bid with an invitation to the 2013 tournament. Headlining Boise State’s cast of returnees for fourth-year head coach Leon Rice are All-MW honorees Anthony Drmic (Jr., G/F) and Derrick Marks (Jr., G).
Also receiving a vote by the panel was UNLV. The Runnin’ Rebels posted a third-place effort (10-6) in regular-season Conference play a year ago and closed out the 2012-13 campaign with a 25-10 overall mark. UNLV made its seventh consecutive postseason appearance, receiving an at-large berth to the 2013 NCAA tournament. Six letterwinners, including two starters, return under the direction of third-year head coach Dave Rice. The Rebels are led by 2012-13 MW Defensive Player of the Year Khem Birch (Jr., F) and junior guard Bryce Dejean-Jones.